Education Policy & Research

Report: Top State Education Priorities Lack the Resources They Require

A new report shines a stark light on the state of education technology in the United States. Among the findings: There's inadequate funding for information security and ineffective use of technology tools in schools, at least from the perspective of state education leaders, according to a new report issued today by the State Educational Technology Director's Association (SETDA) in collaboration with Whiteboard Advisors.

The 2022 State EdTech Trends Report polled state-level education leaders "from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and the Northern Mariana Islands" in an effort to learn how state agencies are "adapting to a digital world post-pandemic while also identifying state priorities relating to technology and education."

The report found that while 70% of state education leaders said their agencies or districts within their state had suffered cyber attacks, more than half (57%) indicated that their states provide "very little funding" for school information security.

It also found that more than half of respondents reported that their schools have "a lot of ed tech programs or products, but we don’t always use them effectively." Further, only 8% reported that their states collect data on the use and effectiveness of education technology.

“This report is so important because it represents the first attempt to document the shifts taking place in state education agencies as they adapt to a digital world,” said Jhone Ebert, superintendent of public instruction at the Nevada Department of Education, in a prepared statement. Ebert also wrote the report’s preface. “In doing so, it spotlights great work taking place in states across the country while also identifying opportunities for further discussion, collaboration, and improvement.”

Other findings included:

  • Only 29 states reported having a dedicated office of education technology.

  • There's a disconnect between state education priorities and funding for those priorities. For example, while information security was reported as a high priority, only 6% of respondents said their states provide "ample funding for cybersecurity."

  • The overall top education priorities for state leaders were teacher recruitment, retention, and training (74%); addressing learning loss (72%); equity (46%); social and emotional learning (33%); and mental health (30%).

The complete report and data sets are freely available on SETDA's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .